tv [untitled] May 5, 2013 3:00pm-3:31pm PDT
able to put on a lot of different hats, communicate with probation, you communicate with traffic court judges, with community referral center, and with station personnel. so, you really act as a good communicator and facilitator in the program from a law enforcement background. and the grant we get through public works really allows us to run effectively. >> great, thank you. >> [speaker not understood]. let me come on over here. what's your question? >> okay. [speaker not understood]. i've gotten three years of knowledge [speaker not understood]. my question is this. how am i going to get the police department, how am i going to get city council -- they're partially on board, but some of our people in public
works are here today. how can i convey to them that i'm not a nut -- everybody here thinks i'm a nut because [speaker not understood]. how did they really take this seriously and realize that graffiti is a crime and it requires money and it requires attention from the officials, not just from covering graffiti? is there an answer? can you give me some sort of -- what's a good direction? >> [speaker not understood]. >> [speaker not understood]. basically the task force, they'll put together and try to convince the citizens something is happening, then it will go
away. it's no longer a political issue. what turned the corner for us, we had a mayor go out during one of our zero tolerance on blight mayor. she went out on a clean up day. the people from the better business bureau went with they are and started dragging her through the streets and started showing her the [speaker not understood], showing her the graffiti all over and what an impact it's having on them. yeah, one person goes up, couple people go up, even the police go up and they believe it. you don't get a lot of interest from city hall on that. you get the business community and convince them the importance of dealing with graffiti and make that important to city hall, you'll be amazed. that was one of my most successful times, when the business community was appreciate you you aring city hall. that's our tax base. at a time when tax bases are diminishing income to citizens is diminishing, when you can show them how different it can be, that suddenly makes good business sense to them and they'll dedicate the resources
to you. so, that's what's worked for me. (applause) >> anybody else up there? everybody okay with that answer? i think we're pretty grateful here in san francisco that we have a mayor that was actually the director of the department of public works. so, we know he's totally on top of it and involved. do you have another question? >> this isn't geared towards any particular speaker, but it is geared towards abatement. we have an annual volunteer event where graffiti is removed city-wide. in an effort to encourage youth to participate we are considering a flash mob where all volunteers will abate graffiti at the same time on the same day along major thoroughfares. is this a good idea or does it detract from the issue? thoughts? okay, yes. >> that's a great question. >> thank you. my experience is it's really hard to paint while you're dancing. [laughter]
>> but on top of that, my experience with volunteerism and with large groups of painting comes from working with -- actually supervising small groups of offenders and volunteers doing the work hands on, but also working from the city side where we bring the paint and supplies to groups that might be from a business community or faith group and helping them to get set up, making sure they're going to get consent and setting them free in their community. there is a real cost factor associated with having 50 or 100 or 150 rollers, brushes, paint kits, trays, rags, running around your community. whether it's a flash mob or whether it's just a large event. so, i wouldn't recommend it. what i would recommend is maybe using a flash mob to get the word out, taking registrations, having a facebook page, that kind of thing, and then organizing those groups so that you've got some adult volunteers for every group of youth and you have a nice very
well organized structured event. the other thing is there can be a lot of waste and a lot of environmental damage if somebody isn't working very carefully with people that don't have a lot of experience with those kinds of materials. you want to make sure the paint doesn't go down the wrong place, that those rags can be reused, you can rinse things, stack them, collect them, and use them again. so, sustainability and environmental responsibility i would say is really good. but that would be pretty cool dancing and painting. (applause) >> anybody else? all right. do we have questions here in the audience? i see somebody, okay, coming over here. not only are we here to tackle graffiti, but we're going to tackle mic issues, too. they're setting up another mic. we might be able to use two mics again. you want to stand up? >> first, thanks for coming. this has been amazing. i'm with a group called big picture. we also work with kids, trying
to deal with this problem of the source. we teach the young offenders, especially on campus, prepare their own canvas and get to make art without victims. again, it comes back to funding. it's a general problem. a $9 billion company, that's how much they make every year and i don't see them contributing to the solution. if bp oil of the beach in the gulf, they're made to clean it up, i'm not sure why [speaker not understood] aren't endowed with the responsibility of helping with this problem. this is a legal problem. if they are encouraged to help, does that mean they're somewhat culpable? i'm not suggesting they start the war, but they've made the bullets. [speaker not understood]. >> do we have anybody up there?
we have one pioneer over here that's willing to take on that one. by the way, is that oakland, that accent? [laughter] >> i guess from my perspective, it never hurts to ask. we have a huge variety of sponsors. for example rona who is like a lowe's or home depot who is supplying or providing paint. they are a sponsor of my program. so, they provide me a 45% discount on paint as well as they give me a 25% discount coupon that we give to everybody. they supply the materials for my wipe outs, they supply the paint for my wipe out. cis -- not cis, seco paint has been providing paint the last number of years for wipe out. i know it's discouraging, but i think what i've found in terms of getting corporate sponsorship is starting at your local store and working it that way, trying to get them on board. and once you get them on board on small little events, then
piece them off to get the bigger ones. so, for example, glad bag sponsors our 15 to clean program. they provide all the bags and all the gloves for our whole spring campaign. and it's possible. so does safeway. safeway sponsors one of our litter programs where they -- we pay nonprofit groups to go in the community, pick garbage for 16 weeks during the summer, and they pay those. safeway as well as many other groups pay those volunteers. so, i mean crylon, like you said, it's a huge company going to head off. you're probably not going to have the same success as somehow working with local businesses. that would be the only thing i could suggest. but it's worth a try because i think the more persistent you are -- i think a couple of them finally gave us money because rona in particular because they just didn't want to hear from me any more. [laughter] >> all right, thank you. (applause)
>> i don't know why the product is still on the shelf. personally it's one of the most toxic products out there. i don't know if any of you have had ever deployed spray cans on walls and just stood there. how do you dispose of it? there are so many environmental issues it's unbelievable. and as communities, if you start targeting that, i think that there could be something done. it should be restricted product at the very he least. you know, the kid who use it get stoned off it. that's why they drink and that's why they smoke dope and stuff. the average one that you talk to says that that's a contributing factor to their addiction to their drugs. so, the product itself is awful product. that comes from a fine arts background. i don't use it any more because i don't feel good after i help the kids with murals. it's an awful, awful product. and i think that's what needs to switch. and i don't know if it's the
source, like the selling source, if there could be like some restrictions, but you guys are fantastic at bringing in laws. so, maybe you can create some kind of law. you're so good at that. you would be the country to start that, i would be quite certain. we have to go about 10 steps through parliament and it takes 20 years to change a law. i think you can do it overnight. [laughter] >> well, maybe. thank you. (applause) >> we have another answer. >> if i might very quickly. >> yes, of course. >> i have worked with aerosol with youth on murals as well as individual projects. i've also done collage. we've done paint pens. we have used a number of different things from silk screen t-shirts to making logos. my experience with these youth is you might engage them through graffiti. you don't have to use arrow zoll. it's expensive.
it's anywhere from 8 to $14 a can wherever you get it. and you also have to then worry about protecting the eyes, the hands and the proper respirator which could be 35 to $50 apiece per youth. so, to me it's a really expensive way to engage that graffiti side of the artistic or creative behavior. at the same time, montana wants their name out there. so, if you can't montana and say i'm getting 15 kids together to do graffiti art, can you give me some stuff? i need like a basic color palate. i don't see why they wouldn't give it to you whether your message is condoning graffiti or permitting it or not, you don't have to tell montana. so, if it is something you want to work with, i think you could get -- i think you could actually be quite successful getting quite a bit of paint and supplies. sea >> [speaker not understood].
>> certainly. certainly, and i feel the same way about cigarettes. >> thank you. all right. gen, do you have another question? >> yes, this is actually for enforcement and abatement. i have two similar questions actually from the same city so i'm kind of going to blend them together. they're interested in restitution cost formula to charge individuals caught tagging the restitution labor, materials, equipment, costs. so, i don't know if that could be split between -- pointing at you. abatement and enforcement. >> i was going to point to dwight, but i guess i'll take it. >> or martin. >> just from my experience, you look at the amount that you've -- the amount of time that you've spent abating the problem. that starts with lugging paint over to the van, driving it to the site, putting on one coat, putting on a second coat, making sure it's not bleeding,
possibly putting on a third coat making sure it's covered up, reloading it and driving back. the cost of the supplies is minimal. the cost of the labor is where you justify the cost because you're looking at someone's hourly wage, time, plus the amount of time that they spent abating the problem. and that's what's going to stand up in court. that's the most. you don't want to overestimate obviously just to make an example of someone you want to be fair and equitable. and the hourly wage is the best way to do it because that's where the cost really comes into play. >> i could add to this a little bit from the historic cultural materials side of things. we have been involved before with the local arts commission on cost for repairing graffiti damages to, say, outdoor monuments. and there was quite a bit of surprise through the court systems of what the cost was. and the reason is because the
qualifications of somebody working on historic or, you know, listed registered properties or artwork can be higher than throwing paint in a van and getting, you know, it's just a different level of professionalism that's required sometimes for these more specific properties. so, i would take that into consideration, too, if you're addressing what the cost factors are. (applause) >> just out of curiosity, how many of your cities are charging restitution when vandals get caught? and how many are not? okay, all right. those of you that aren't really need to get on with it and get that formula figured out and start having that be part of the process when somebody gets caught. for those of you in california,
i know some cities in the past have included law enforcement costs in their restitution and they've gotten away with it for quite a while. just in the last couple months, a court judgment came out and said that if you're in california you cannot have law enforcement costs be part of your restitution package. so, just fyi. that's just a couple months old. i don't know about other states, i know that that's new for california. and we do have four or five examples of cities' restitution formulas. if anybody is interested they can see me afterwards and i can give you what other cities have used. >> awesome. are you all right? why don't you hold the mic until you don't need it any more. we have another question over here. >> this is for the san francisco crew. how important was your task force, elevate the issue of
graffiti abatement in san francisco? >> i think one of the main reasons why it was elevated is -- and it's been continued to be elevated. the current mayor was actually the director of public works and he saw that graffiti was a serious problem. and, so, it's become more and more prevalent and the board of supervisors has also taken it on. i think they also recognize that the graffiti brings blight to the neighborhood. and, so, it hasn't been hard to get the support. and just like we're all here, as you saw yesterday, the city leaders are all on board with this. so, that helps a lot. if you can get your city leaders to buy in that it's an actual problem, your chances of having either a good programs or increase in funding or the other things that you need, you
stand a lot better chance. >> all right, thank you. jen, do you want to go ahead? >> sure. this is an interesting question and i don't i understand it. so, i'm really hoping that the person that wrote it is in the audience and can elaborate. is the person from modesto here? okay. this is towards abatement. is there any conflict with permission regarding 146 00? is that a penal code? >> [speaker not understood]. 146 00 is the edmonton ordinance. >> oh, okay, okay. and the question is, is there any conflict with permission -- permission [speaker not understood] -- regarding that ordinance? so basically how the city of edmonton's graffiti ordinance
reads is that the by law is not specific to graffiti. so, graffiti is not defined. it doesn't say that it slashes or it doesn't describe it in that nature. and it doesn't speak to permission either. the by law is written such that it's under community standards 14600 with respect to community standards and buildings that are considered a nuisance. there's a specific statement in there, i don't have it in front of me unfortunately, with respect to graffiti. and, so, i guess the question, then, -- question is, do we ever have trouble with property owners saying, well, i want to have this piece of graffiti on our property and i don't feel it's a nuisance and i'm not going to remove it? and we haven't had any problems actually whatsoever with our graffiti by law being challenged. how the by law works is that our by law officers, any graffiti that comes up is at their discretion. so, whether they determine what is on the property is a nuisance and it allows us to
keep our mural programs running. it allows us to look at individual situations. early on we had one situation where there was a property owner dispute between two neighbors where one had painted a sunflower on her garage and the other neighbor didn't like it. and the officer clearly made the distinction it was put on with permission. so, permission is considered in the decision-making process, but it's not an overall factor. so, if the by law officer had determined that that was a nuisance, the property owner would have been forced to remove it, but in this situation made a determination that it wasn't a nuisance, that it was put on, it wasn't detracting from the neighborhood and it was allowed to remain. it gives the officers a lot of leeway. we are looking at what toronto is doing right now in terms of possibly coming up with a way of retroactively approving pieces of art that are on murals that at this point in time our by laws seem to be holding. >> if i could just add to that,
actually, because our program is similar [speaker not understood] when we started researching. this idea of graffiti-type murals that have permission like you were showing in your presentation, we don't have those in the city of vancouver. we don't allow that. so, all murals have to go through a permit system. so, any building that wants to put something up, they have to get like a permit from the city. and if the city finds something that they don't like and it doesn't have a permit, they'll take it down and charge them on their taxes. so, that's i think a very key component to any ordinance that would be enacted in the city that you want to control the image making. this is not the art historian. this is like a civic administrator or urban planner. you want to control the image making that's going on in your city because it's about your city, right? so, it's a very important part
of the program. >> interesting. anybody else? >> i totally agree with that. [speaker not understood] for years actually. >> the mic, have you stand up and you go next and we'll have you go. >> i totally agree with that. a lot of cities are very successful in california with having a mural ordinance or we have house of color for various parts of our city. my city unfortunately chose not to enact that. so, with the fact there are no ordinances against it, fall completely out of the purview of the police code enforcement to deal with it. and that's kind of what i was trying to get across when we were talking about permission if it doesn't violate a local ordinance or state ordinance or any other, you know, legal piece, then we don't have any purview to deal with it. so, yeah, that is certainly a great tool to have. every time i bring it up to my city, by the time we get the city attorney involved, arts board involved, everybody else involved, they decide it's too
much work to do that and we'll just see what happens. >> one more. let's hear from the san francisco arts commission. >> her statement frightens me. i'm an arts person. this is san francisco, we're in a unique situation in that we really do -- our whole city lich on creativity. and we like to encourage it and also manage it at the same time. the street smarts program that i manage which is funded by dpw is a public/private partnership. all public mural art or any sort of public art has to be funneled through our commission and we have to give permission to do that. but when you're dealing with a private property owner it's slightly different because they basically have -- they have ownership of their property and ownership of what goes on that property. but at the same time, if they do put something up like a sunflower or what have you and the neighborhood is against it, how do you manage that? because technically it's their right to put that up.
so, in our program, because we did have an incident where there was a complaint from a neighbor, we have encouraged the property boehner to take the rendering from the artist and share it with their neighborhood association and allow two weeks from any feedback. that being said, because it is private property, we can only encourage. so, we're still kind of working on that sort of nuance piece. but i think going to the extreme of making everything a process like public art would be really challenging in an environment like san francisco. so, i think every city is different. san francisco would be drastically affected if we adopted something that stringent. >> i just wanted to speak to -- a little bit to [speaker not understood] speaking about the vancouver program. and i do have some experience with that. ways also a coordinator of murals. and one of the benefits of having a process, whether that's a permit, whether
there's a fee attached to that, whether there's a committee or if it simply goes through a process where different departments of the city can have input. for example, in vancouver and really the vancouver graffiti management mural program is almost identical to what tyra is talking about doing here. it's similar to public art murals, but similar in scope. when we were doing our murals, almost 200 of them, there was no permit in place, but there was a selection process. and, so, if that was the heritage property, that had to go to heritage. and they had to decide whether or not that building had been painted and if a mural would go there. if so, did it work with the heritage esthetics, et cetera, et cetera. it also goes to the community group or the business group in that area. it goes through the graffiti department primarily because we do engage past graffiti vandals who are now legal and are doing artwork. so, in vancouver there is no
active graffiti tag names, crew name used in our murals. we've come up with a fairly loose guideline which is being defined by a new graffiti programmer, program coordinator david over there. and they're coming up with some parameters so that the city can work with people that come from graffiti so that there is still some incentive for them to become artistic, to go into doing murals and other art. use their style, use that medium that they enjoy. but if they were to use active graffiti tax or names, we know from our experience of having 200 murals in vancouver it's going to attract graffiti. it's very likely going to have a negative effect on the artwork itself. so, we are building parameters around that and trying to work with the subculture, trying to work with those artists, but also understand graffiti is graffiti. our by law in vancouver states that even if you give an artist permission to put up graffiti on your wall, it has to go. they don't permit graffiti on your walls.
whether that's in a mural or whether that's just a tag on your wall. so, even if it is done with permission, with consent, if somebody complains or if one of our by law officers come by, it has to go. and it's one of those very clear definitions of graffiti versus art and that's how vancouver has been doing it. i hope that helps a little bit. >> thank you. yeah, i think here in san francisco the difference between graffiti and art is the permission. i hope i appreciate our anonymously written questions. [laughter] >> all right. anybody else have an answer to that one? so, we'll move on to the next one. i'll take somebody from the audience and come back here. good, i'm seeing some hands go up. we'll go with you, if you want to stand up. >> my question is about liabilities. if you're doing something that the original tagger, the vandal, let's say, did, and now
you're using volunteers to paint it out, what -- has anybody considered the possibility if you don't have police accompaniment to the rehabilitation of that wall, that it's very possible that the person that tagged it is not going to want to see it painted out and might behave in an adversarial situation, perhaps danger? inclusive of the fact that on the other side of the coin is let's say you've got volunteers, you've got kids that work in on the wall. and a possibility of this hazardous material affecting them in some negative way so that later on down the road, those people who were doing a volunteer wonderful job are now going to be bringing you into court and saying, you organized this thing and you caused this cancer or whatever it might be. >> great question.
and we look like we have a couple of people that would like to take an answer on that one. >> when we do our graffiti wipe outs, we have it arranged so it's the nonprofit organization that is applying to us for permission to do it. they're responsible for getting volunteer waivers from all of the participants. our funding to provide them with the supplies and the support to do the wipe out is based on them following our guidelines which are all safety rules provided we don't allow them to use any chemical materials. they're only allowed to use paint. the volunteers must be 15 years of age. so, if they violate any of those criteria, then it's the volunteer organization that's basically not complied with our requirements. so, they have no issue basically with us. in terms of liability just to ensure that we don't have any problems with property owners in terms of painting, we ensure that we get $2 million of liability insurance.
that blanketly coffers all of our volunteer program. that is a range to cover my program. iest mate how many volunteers i'm going to have per year and basically buy an insurance policy to cover that as well. in terms of safety i think martin can speak more to the issue of, you know, going into areas where there could be problems. edmonton overall is pretty safe community. we haven't really had any experience with people sort of being there present when we're painting over it. so, i can't really speak to that in terms of issues. but the liability issue is pretty well covered. i have a guide that's available on my website that outlines all of our forms and criteria that they go through and the property owners are also required to sign off a form giving the volunteer agency permission to paint their building. so, we're distancing ourselves from that so we don't have a problem. >> before i became a consul ant
i was with city of san jose antigraffiti for 10 year. we ended up with over 3,400 graffiti volunteers. that's a big number. and the number of -- first of all, we did a good job training them and we made sure that if there were -- that they knew if there was anything out there, somebody watching them or a gang area, a gang tag, we didn't want them dealing with that. they he should call it into our staff and we'll take care of it for them. we had absolutely zero in 10 years issues with liability, none, not one. not only that's correct but we put every volunteer on our city's workers' compensation program, every single one. so, if there was a problem they were covered under the city's workers' comp program. and we had zero claims. and then we also inherited an antilitter program. we had over 14,000 antilitter volunteers. they weren't using the chemicals or anything like that, but we had same thing, no